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Donkey74

Failed Pre-Employment Drug Screen

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I was give a job offer in a Technical IT type position in a compay. I failed the drug screen because of medication I was taking. I have Narcolepsy and I take stimulants as needed. When I spoke to the MRO she asked for my scripts and I faxed them over and the script I had for desoxyen was over a year old and she would not except it and I had to have a valid perscription. She said that is has to be a current script because it was the law. I ask her to tell me what law she is referring to and she can not give me a straight answer except that I failed my drug screen. My scripted has a filled date and not a expiration date.

The next thing is that my potenital employer contacted me telling me I had to contact a MRO because of the failed test. I was under the assumption that ptential employers can not be notified before the employee.

1. Is there a law that says I can not use my perscription that is over a year old after being filled?

2. Is there a law that potential employers are not be be notified until the employee was notified first?

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1. Is there a law that says I can not use my perscription that is over a year old after being filled?

No federal law says that you cannot use a prescription drug you purchased over a year ago. State law might address this, but since you did not mention the state, I cannot comment on that.

Drugs do lose effectiveness over time, however, and a general rule of thumb is that drugs over a year old ought to be replaced, though the actual time when a drug should be replaced varies on the drug. Doctors and pharmacists generally may not refill a prescription order that is over a year old — the patient should be seen by the doctor and a new prescription provided. It is likely this practice that your prospective employer is focusing upon. If it’s been more than a year since you’ve seen the doctor and updated you prescriptions, there is the issue of whether it is still necessary or appropriate for you to take that drug. The employer needs to be careful how it deals with that, though, as I mention below.

2. Is there a law that potential employers are not be be notified until the employee was notified first?

Again, no federal law requires that, but a state law might. I'd be surprised, however, if any state had that requirement. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does limit to whom the employer may disclose medical information of an employee or applicant once the employer has it.

Your narcolepsy may be a disability under the ADA. If so, the employer cannot discriminate against you as a result of the disability. Discriminating against you because you are taking a legal prescription to treat your disability would generally be illegal. I think the employer may be on shaky ground relying on the one year old drug as a reason for refusing to hire you as that may amount to illegal discrimination against you because of your disability. The employer may be able to ask you for updated certification from your physician that he drug is still necessary for treating your disability, however.

The best thing here, of course, is to see if you can work this out between you and the employer in a mutually satisfactory manner. If you cannot do that, I suggest you see an employment law attorney in your state for advice.

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